Cliff Bleszinski, beyond Gears of War

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After successive commercial failures following his departure from Epic Games, the Gears of War creator thinks about returning to the video game industry.

After a time away from video games to dedicate himself to musical numbers, the co-creator of one of Xbox’s flagship franchises aims to return to the industry, despite his latest hits in the market. 14 years ago, together with Rod Fergusson – now at Blizzard and in charge of Diablo – he got down to work to devise one of the most recognizable sagas of the last 20 years, forming a fantastic trilogy that would last for five years and remain finally – and currently – in the hands of The Coalition. We are talking about, obviously, Gears of War, the great legacy of a Cliff Bleszinski who since leaving a triumphant Epic Games thanks to Fortnite has not savored the honeys of success, rather the opposite.

After practically two decades at Epic Games, Cliffy B. would leave the studio to found his own, Boss Key Productions, and get to work in the genre in which he would begin his career, that is, the first person shooter. Bleszinski was part of the team that developed numerous installments of one of the most iconic multiplayer shooter of the first decade of the 21st century, Unreal Tournament, and tried to implement everything he learned in his first game away from what had been his home for so long. : Lawbreakers.

Life after Gears of War

However, and by way of curiosity, it is not exactly his first job in a video game after leaving Epic Games, and it is that although it is a fact that went unnoticed, Cliff bue one of the backers of the successful Superhot on Kickstarter, contributing no less than 2,000 dollars and being the only one who would reach such an amount. This contribution would give him the right to co-design one of the levels of the game, and it is that from the first moment he was captivated by the proposal of this indie by a small Polish studio. “I thought it was brilliant and I wrote to them on Twitter to get the game before the next Call of Duty stole their idea,” he said at the time on Polygon. “It’s the most innovative idea in a shooter since Bullet Time.”

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Cliff Bleszinski returns to the video game industry

But after this little more than anecdotal participation, let’s go back to Lawbreakers. With this game, Cliff wanted to combine some aspects of the more classic multiplayer shooters with more modern ones, such as the use of gravity or the selection of characters with different abilities. Also away from the massive games that proliferate in today’s multiplayer, Lawbreakers was limited to ten participants in two teams of 5, in confrontations in modes that, although they had different names such as War for Territory or Overload, did not stop be mainly the modes equivalent to Dominion or Capture the Flag, in addition to the essential Team Deathmatch, or All against all by teams.

The launch of Lawbreakers would take place in August – a bad time for a launch in itself – of 2017, receiving more than worthy criticism from the specialized press and having an average score of 76 in Metacritic. In this house specifically we talk more about its virtues than its defects, and the former were numerous: a good balance between classes, a successful combination of classic and modern elements, great online performance. So … what went wrong?


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